Got kids? I mean little kids, toddlers even? We do and date night isn’t as easy as it used to be, but we are committed to fighting for date night, even if we fall asleep in the middle of it from exhaustion. While we love our babies to pieces, we also recognize that it’s important to continue cultivating our pre-kid relationship. We are proponents of sowing quality time into our relationship and having kids– and sometimes no babysitter has forced us in an ungrudging way to get creative. So, I thought I’d pass along six ways that some of our friends and us fight for date night.
Dinner on the Deck
When Shiloh was first born, we weren’t used to not being able just to go. The first few months of parenthood were an adjustment. One of the ways we got some time alone was having a date on our deck. Shiloh was born in the summer, so the weather wasn’t a problem. We pulled out our “fine china,” stemware, and cooked a delicious meal. Shiloh wasn’t sleeping a lot at the time, but we got at least a good hour of alone time, and It was special.
The weather, in St. Louis, isn’t deck friendly at the moment– unless you like the cold– so this gem came from our good friends Mark and Marqueta Goins– parents of four under five years old. I thought this was such a sweet idea. They spread out a blanket on the bed with some bubbly, cheese, and grapes and they will look at their wedding photos or watch their wedding video or a movie. How romantic? Looking at old photos and videos serves as a great reminder of how and why you fell in love and got married in the first place, and it’s probably a reason for all the babies:).
Kenny and I both work, and it’s a blessing that we don’t work far from each other. After I had gone back to work after having Tiago, Kenny and I started taking advantage of our lunchtime to hang out with one another. Sometimes he would come to my work, and we would eat there, other times we would meet for coffee, and whenever our schedule was flexible enough, we would go to a restaurant. If you don’t work super close to each other, you could cut down on time by packing a lunch and meeting in the middle.
Do Something Creative
This one is really cool and something that I want to try with Kenny. This idea comes from some New Jersey friends of ours– Victor and Amy Chambers. They are parents of one, and they don’t have a lot of family near them to babysit, so they thrive on discovering ways to spend time alone. They are both exceptionally talented musicians, and when their little one goes down for the night, they spend some time together playing their instruments and singing. Maybe music isn’t your thing, but painting or experimenting with food or playing games is– Do something creative together.
Here’s another great idea from Mark and Marqueta. If you can’t get away from the kids a night drive is always a good idea. Take a scenic drive through your city, let the kids fall asleep, hold hands, talk, and enjoy each other’s company.
The YMCA is a great place to have an active date night. They offer 2-hour child watch while parents enjoy a worry-free workout. Kenny and I love seizing the opportunity to get in shape, spend some time together all the while our kids are having fun and meeting new friends.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are plenty of other ways to date your mate even though you have little people hanging on your leg. Please share with me how you keep the fire going!